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Task 42 / Annex 24

Objective & Scope

Objective

The overall objective of this task is to develop advanced materials and systems for the compact storage of thermal energy. This can be subdivided into eight specific objectives:

  • to identify, design and develop new materials and composites for compact thermal energy storage,
  • to develop measuring and testing procedures to characterise new storage materials reliably and reproducibly,
  • to improve the performance, stability, and cost-effectiveness of new storage materials,
  • to develop multi-scale numerical models, describing and predicting the performance of new materials in thermal storage systems,
  • to develop and demonstrate novel compact thermal energy storage systems employing the advanced materials,
  • to assess the impact of new materials on the performance of thermal energy storage in the different applications considered, and
  • to disseminate the knowledge and experience acquired in this task.

A secondary objective of this task is to create an active and effective research network in which researchers and industry working in the field of thermal energy storage can collaborate.

Scope

This task deals with advanced materials for latent and chemical thermal energy storage, and excludes materials related to sensible heat storage. The task deals with these materials on three different scales:

  • material scale, focused on the behaviour of materials from the molecular to the ‘few particles’ scale, including e.g. material synthesis, micro-scale mass transport, and sorption reactions;
  • bulk scale, focused on bulk behaviour of materials and the performance of the storage in itself, including e.g. heat, mass, and vapour transport, wall-wall and wall-material interactions, and reactor design;
  • system scale, focused on the performance of a storage within a heating or cooling system, including e.g. economical feasibility studies, case studies, and system tests.

Because seasonal storage of solar heat for solar assisted heating of buildings is the main focus of the SHC IA, this will be one of the primary topics of this task. However, because there are many more relevant applications for TES, and because materials research is not and can not be limited to one application only, this task will focus on multiple application areas.

Applications that will be included from the start of this task are:

  • seasonal solar thermal storage,
  • cogeneration and trigeneration and heat pumps,
  • building cooling,
  • district heating,
  • industrial waste heat, and
  • concentrated solar power.

Temperature control, e.g. for medical applications, will be taken into account as an interesting spin-off. Finally, as a special theoretical ‘application’, the theoretical limits of advanced storage materials will be investigated as one of the covered applications.

This subdivision will be treated with a certain amount of flexibility. If, during the task’s four-year operation, new promising applications are revealed, they can be included in the task’s scope at a later point. Vice versa, if the interests in one of the above-mentioned applications fade, it can be decided to drop this particular application as a focus point of the task. The organisation of the task (see section 5) allows for this flexibility.

 

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International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme